Japan scrambles fighter jets to head off China plane
TOKYO (AFP) - Japan scrambled fighter jets on Monday to head off a Chinese government plane flying towards disputed islands in the East China Sea, the defence ministry in Tokyo said.
A Y-12 propeller plane flew about 100 kilometres from airspace around the Tokyo-controlled Senkakus, which Beijing claims as the Diaoyus, the ministry said.
The aircraft headed back towards China without entering disputed airspace after Japan's military planes became airborne, defence officials said, declining to give further details.
In December, a similar plane from China's State Oceanic Administration breached airspace over the disputed islands, prompting the launch of Japanese F-15s.